Hobby Breakdown: NFC Championship Game

Sunday’s NFC Championship Game is a clash of the Titans, no doubt. The Saints are 13-3 and the number 1 seed, the Vikings are 12-4, playing away, and are the number 2 seed. The story is more about Drew Brees vs Brett Favre, though I want to look at it from a hobby standpoint. Im going to go position by position and talk about who has the most to gain this weekend. The Saints may be the better team in terms of record, but are the Vikings a better team in the hobby?

Quarterback

Starter: Drew Brees
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2001 (Chargers)
Best Rookie Card: 2001 Bowman Chrome Auto, 2001 Playoff Contenders Auto (tie)
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $400
Autos Usually Sell For: $70
Commentary: Brees has the advantage because he has autographed rookie cards. However, outside of his rookies, his auto can sell for as little as 36 bucks. I think he is one of the more undervalued players in the league, but a win on Sunday could vault his values into a higher value bracket.

Starter: Brett Favre
Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 1991
Best Rookie Card: 1991 Wild Card 1000 Stripe
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $900
Autos Usually Sell For $150+
Commentary: I know the 1000 stripe is a ridiculously expensive card, but it is so rare that it is hard to even find on eBay. In addition, there are fakes, so im not even sure it can be counted. The regular 1991 Stadium Club RCs sell for very little, so I guess the playing field is even there. Favre has accomplished everything there is to accomplish, so the only room for improvement is in his Vikings cards.

Advantage: Tie

Running Back

Starter: Reggie Bush
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2006
Best Rookie Card: 2006 Exquisite Collection
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $600
Autos Usually Sell For: $40
Commentary: Bush was one of the most hyped up players coming out of college, and his cards reflected that. They still hold a ton of value in the rookies, but other than that, he has nothing. He has underperformed on the field as well, but a good game on Sunday can be huge for his values.

Starter: Adrian Peterson
Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 2007
Best Rookie Card: 2007 Exquisite Collection
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $1100
Autos Usually Sell For: $150
Commentary: Peterson is the biggest star in the hobby, even more so than Manning or Favre. His cards are very sought after, especially the 2007 ones, and his performance still leaves room for more improvement. Its rare that a Running Back can out value the QBs, but in this case, the throngs of Vikings fans have made it so.

Advantage: Vikings

Wide Receiver

Starter: Marques Colston
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2006
Best Rookie Card: 2006 Exquisite Collection
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $75
Autos Usually Sell For: Under $10
Commentary: Colston is a good receiver on the field, but doesn’t have much of a following in the hobby. Like many good wide receivers, he is very underappreciated, and a good game probably wouldn’t help much.

Starter: Sidney Rice

Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 2007
Best Rookie Card: 2007 Exq
uisite Collection

Avg Sell Value For That Card: $140
Autos Usually Sell For: $20
Commentary: Rice’s cards have spiked this year, and its all because of some amazing games. If he does have another game like he did against the Cowboys, he may become one of the most valuable WRs in the hobby.

Advantage: Vikings

Tight End

Starter: Jeremy Shockey
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2002 (Giants)
Best Rookie Card: 2002 Playoff Contenders
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $42
Autos Usually Sell For: $15
Commentary: Shockey’s mouth gained him a following as a Giant, but his performance forced him to a position with New Orleans. He has had somewhat of a resurgence, but not much. I hated this guy when he was a Giant, and I have a feeling I will hate him that much more on Sunday.

Starter: Visanthe Shiancoe
Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 2003 (Giants)
Best Rookie Card: 2003 SP Authentic
Average Sell Value For That Card: $10
Autos Usually Sell For: N/A
Commentary: Shiancoe had his second good year in a row with Minnesota, but his cards have done little to nothing. He hasn’t even had an auto recently, and that isnt a bad thing. You can pick up his SPA autos for cheap, and if he has a great game on Sunday, that may not be the case anymore.

Advantage: Saints

Wild Card Player

Starter: Robert Meachem
Position: WR
Rookie Year: 2007
Best Rookie Card: 2007 Exquisite Collection
Average Sell Value For That Card: $50
Autos Usually Sell For: Under $10
Commentary: Meachem finally had an okay year for the Saints, and the people hoarding his cards have responded. As a player with a large college following, he continues to have value regardless of performance. If he does well on Sunday, we could see an explosion.

Starter: Jared Allen
Position: Defensive End
Rookie Year: 2004 (Chiefs)
Best Rookie Card: 2006 SP Authentic (Non-auto)
Average Sell Value For That Card: $20
Autos Usually Sell For: $60
Commentary: Allen has a humongous Minnesota following, and that following pays enormous prices for certified autos in Vikings uniform. His autos out of UD Black and UD Philadelphia have commanded $100 and $40 respectively, on top of the 40 bucks his first certified auto usually gets out of 2005 Score.

Advantage: Vikings

Overall

The Saints and Vikings are dangerous teams, but the Vikings definitely have more hobby power. Although Minnesota is the underdog come Sunday, they still have a pretty good shot just because of the team they have. However, they are going to have to contend with one of the best players in the game in Drew Brees, so who knows what could happen. A 51-50 win for the Saints is not out of the question.

Advantage: Vikings

Divisional Round Royal Rumble: Favre’s Purple Reign

What a weekend it was for me, as I got to see one of the best played Vikings games in the last ten years. Its been a long time since 2000′s 41-0 loss to the Giants, and even longer since the 1998 biggest disappointment of my young sports fandom. Here are some thoughts.

Vikings/Cowboys
Look out New Orleans, the Vikings are looking like they did in the middle of the season, especially through the air and on the defensive line. After the defense throttled Romo a team record six times, there was little he was going to be able to do to get things to a manageable point. I never would have guessed that he wouldnt have been able to put up a TD, but its exciting to think that a team like the Vikings could stop him. Minnesota has struggled on defense in the latter part of the season, and to think that they stopped the hottest team in the league is amazing. Not only that, but Sidney Rice is quickly cementing himself as one of the best receivers in the game, evidenced by the crazy catches made yesterday for over 140 yards and 3 TDs.
Chargers/Jets
I cant believe this was the closest game of the weekend, and I am even more shocked that the Jets came out on top. Shonn Greene looks like a stud to say the least, and the Jets’ defense looks menacing. The Chargers didnt lose on those two elements though, as Nate Kaeding cost them the tie and the win in his first game with three missed kicks ever. I still think the Jets are going to get their asses kicked next week, but who didnt say that this week. I think its also worth mentioning that Shonn Greene’s last two games have been unbelievable, and it may have been in the best interest of the Jets to have played him a little more behind Jones and Washington. I dont think that will be an issue next year.
Saints/Cardinals
Drew Brees is like the LeBron James of the NFL, he is amazingly good and makes everyone around him that much better. Hell, even Reggie Bush got into the action too, and that doesnt happen very often. Also, without Boldin to draw coverage away from Fitz and Breaston, the Cards looked flat, especially when Rev Warner didnt look like he had prayed hard enough that night before. In all intensive purposes, the Saints looked poised to be the Champs this year, and if they continue to play the way they did on Saturday, it will be very tough to beat them.
Colts/Ravens
I thought this was going to be the closest game of the weekend, but instead it looked very much like a Colts game usually does. Manning takes control, and the Defense mops up any spills. To hold Flacco, Rice and Mason to under 7 points is a feat in itself, and if we end up with a Colts/Saints Super Bowl, things could get pretty ugly. I do think that Reggie Wayne will need to play like he did at the beginning to have a chance at a championship, because on Saturday, he didnt look like the Reggie Wayne we know and love.
PREVIEWS FOR NEXT WEEK
Vikings/Saints
Oh how I loathe these games. Tons of build up for the Vikings team and they always screw the pooch. I do think they have the best shot of any team in the NFC to beat the Saints, especially after the Cowboy massacre. Remember, the Cowboys beat the Saints at home during the season, and the Saints just beat the Cardinals who killed the Vikings on the road. Luckily for Minnesota, they are on turf again, indoors, where the Purple has cleaned up all year. We will see what Brees can do, as the Vikings defense will leave it up to him. I still say the Vikes come out on top, but its going to be a slug it out win.
Colts/Jets
Even though Revis may be one of the best cover corners in the league, the Colts should make due with the rest of the Jets’ defense. That, and I have a feeling that Indy’s D will make Sanchez their bitch. Its rare that you see a rookie QB do well in these games, especially against a team as good as the Colts. Should be a pretty big win for Manning, and Dallas Clark is going to go nuts. Just watch.
I sincerely hope I can have another good weekend next week, as so far, I have yet to see the Vikings in a super bowl. Either way, the games should be great, and we should get to see a great super bowl no matter who is in it. How amazing would it be to see a Favre/Manning showdown? That would be epic.

Percy Harvin Named Offensive ROY

This was a pretty expected award for Percy Harvin, as he has been the odds on favorite for more than half the season. He put up great numbers for a rookie, was named to the pro-bowl as the NFC Kick Returner, and has meant a lot to a team that ended up 12-4 and the number 2 seed. He has also benefited quite tremendously from having Favre around, as the two have forged a student/teacher relationship that has made Harvin that much more dangerous. When it came to third down, Harvin caught more balls than any player on the team, and his eight total TDs were the difference in at least two games.

Harvin’s cards have already hit their peak as he has slowly become the top producer in the draft class, so there shouldnt be that much of a bump with the news. Oddly enough, Austin Collie and Mark Sanchez did not receive a single vote, with Michael Oher and Knowshon Moreno getting a few of the others.
MVP should be coming either later today or tomorrow, keep checking back.

Percy Harvin is the Ninth Viking To Make The Pro-Bowl

According to the Vikings Blog, Percy Harvin has been named to the team after they realized the roster would be short without a designated kick returner. Although the game matters little, the honor is what really counts, especially in a league where fan Voting only makes up a third of the decision.

Harvin ran two kicks back for TDs this year as a rookie, and averaged over 27 yards per return. It is second all time for the Vikings, and I expect him to be quite dangerous in that fashion for the playoffs. He is the only offensive skill player rookie to be named to the rosters this year, though im sure more will come as the rosters thin out due to so many players turning down their invites.
Hopefully he wont have to play due to the game the week after, if you catch my drift.

Another Squeaker Gives The Vikings a 6-0 Record

Another game that left me standing in front of my TV with hands clasped in prayer. For the second time this season, the football gods smiled upon the Vikings, giving them another victory to add to their resume. Despite the win and beign considerably impressed with Joseph Fucking Flacco and Raymond Ridiculous Rice, I was as disappointed with the Vikings defense. They should have won this game by a lot more than they did, but instead came away with a victory they didnt deserve.

Brett Favre
I am beyond fucking sick of listening to the announcers talk about Brett Favre. I can only imagine how Yankee fans feel about TBS/everyones coverage of Derek Jeter for the last 40 years. Its just fucking annoying to hear them give dick ass platitudes about how much fun he is having, rather than actually talking about interesting parts of an awesome game. Favre did play well again, but this game was not about him. Of course that didnt stop Dan Dierdorf from giving him a relative verbal ass fucking of wonderful tidbits. Shut up.
Adrian Peterson
Glad to see Peterson get a good game under his belt again after failing to break the 100 yard mark for the previous four games. He played in typical AD fashion, grinding out close to 150 yards on the ground against a defense that is known for being rough and tumble. The problem was that he may have sustained an ankle injury that could get worse as the week moves on towards the game at Pittsburgh.
Ray Rice
Ray Rice looked like Adrian Peterson today. He was the bane of the Vikings D the whole game, and just had a ridiculous performance. 2 TDs on the ground, and 10 receptions for 100+ in the air. Unbelievable. I never really put that much faith in Rice after the first half, as he was practically unheard from. I feel bad for the AFC East having to play against him and Flacco together for the next decade, as they are going to be GREAT.
Joe Flacco
This was Flacco’s day, even though the announcers had brown tongues from licking Favre’s ass. Flacco tore apart a Vikings secondary in the second half, just making Cedric Griffin and Karl Paymah look foolish. Granted, he didnt have to deal with Winfield all day, but he still looked like he was the next golden dick for the announcers to suck.
CBS Football
If I never watch another game on CBS, it would be too soon. Everything about the whole game was horrible. Greg Gumble is annoying, Dierdorf was a gargantuan mouth breathing idiot, and the stuff they talked about made me mute the volume at more than one point. When I saw that CBS was doing the Super Bowl this year, a little part of me died. Seriously, CBS football fucking blows.
Percy Harvin
He looked bad on that injury, makes me worried for him. I am crossing my fingers that it isnt a separated shoulder. That would be BAD.
Antoine Winfield and Benny Sapp
For the ENTIRE fucking game, the announcers failed to tell us why Karl Paymah was playing corner. Not one fucking peep. Winfield actually had turf toe that kept him out of the game, and Sapp had a concussion on the opening kick off. Im sure Griffin shit his pants when he saw he would be the guy, especially with ass fuck Madieu Williams and his flailing arm tackles playing behind him. I guarantee that the Vikings go after a corner in the next draft, because, holy fuck, they need one after seeing the poor play. Griffin was never very good, and their safeties are looking VERY vulnerable. Im dreading next week, because if Winfield doesnt play, the Steelers could put up 60 points. Its that urgent.
Sidney Rice
I love Sidney Rice. What a fucking baller, right? The guy just makes play after play, and may be soon replacing Berrian at the one spot. On top of all of his ridiculous catches, Favre loves him, which means he should continue to have a great season.
Visanthe Shiancoe
Im actually shocked how poorly I talked about him last year, because he is playing like a TE god. Another great game, another Vikings win. Love the way he does what he does. What do you have to say about him Dan Dierdorf? “Shiancoe is just a big target. Favre is just having a ton of fun and is having a fun time throwing to this fun guy. I wish I were out there having fun, too.”
I know it seems like I am talking about a loss here, and thats because it should have ended that way. To have a defensive collapse like that is beyond frustrating. They need to pick up their shit or they are going to get killed. Bottom line.